Because of COVID-19 travel restrictions and show and festival cancellations,
no new content has been added here since February 2020.
Read more about this here. | April 2019 update
To connect with us, visit us on Facebook and Twitter.
SXSW 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Live at Leeds 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Sound City 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Great Escape 2018 | 2015 | 2013 | 2012

(Holiday!) Video of the Moment #2762: Paul Thomas Saunders

 
By on Friday, 22nd December 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

I thought we could all use a bit of levity this holiday season, especially for us Americans who have had to gape in horror at what our government is doing. Singer/songwriter Paul Thomas Saunders now has a new single out that’s perfect for this time of year, ‘Christmas, the Sequel’. I like a musician who has goals, and Saunders’ goal with this latest tune is to lay the ground work for what he’d like to do, if someone just gives him enough money: to make a true Christmas apocalypse film. (For some reason, I thought Shaun of the Dead was a Christmas film, but I had to check in Wikipedia to confirm that wasn’t the case. Too bad.) Here’s the man in his own words:

I’m a big Christmas movie fan, but every time the festive season comes around I feel that there’s a giant black-hole of a gap in the market. The Christmas apocalypse movie. No-one would give me the desired budget to make said Christmas apocalypse movie, so this year, the world will have to make do with just the theme tune. I was going for one-part ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, one-part ‘The Road’ – however, it may just be somewhere in the middle of ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ and ‘Armageddon’. Oh Well.

While the song might not be as light as we could use, the video directed by Elliot Tatler is amusing, and the lyrics “help the new year to its feet” couldn’t be better timed. If you’ve had a bad 2018 – or indeed, your country has as a whole – remember, we can come back from the sleepy holidays with intention and purpose on the 1st of January. I know I will.

 

Siv Jakobsen and friends / October 2017 UK Tour

 
By on Friday, 7th July 2017 at 9:00 am
 

Header photo by Jørgen Nordby

Norwegian indie folk artist Siv Jakobsen has announced a list of live dates in the UK this October, following the release of her debut LP ‘The Nordic Mellow’, due out on the 25th of August. For this very special round of shows, Jakobsen will be touring with up-and-coming Bristol songstress Fenne Lily and TGTF alumni Paul Thomas Saunders and Sivu. (Longtime readers might recall that Saunders and Sivu have co-headlined a tour before, back in 2014.)

Tickets for the following dates are available now. Take a listen to Jakobsen’s latest single ‘Shallow Digger’, as well as recent tracks from the other artists featured on the docket, just below the tour date listing. Fenne Lily and Siv Jakobsen are both new to the pages of TGTF, but you can look back on our previous coverage of Paul Thomas Saunders right here and our coverage of Sivu back here.

Wednesday 4th October 2017 – Shrewsbury Henry Tudor House
Thursday 5th October 2017 – Bristol Lantern
Friday 6th October 2017 – Manchester Band on the Wall
Saturday 7th October 2017 – Liverpool Buyers Club
Sunday 8th October 2017 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Tuesday 10th October 2017 – Glasgow CCA
Wednesday 11th October 2017 – Newcastle Cluny 2
Thursday 12th October 2017 – London Cecil Sharp House

 

Paul Thomas Saunders / November 2014 English Tour

 
By on Thursday, 9th October 2014 at 9:00 am
 

Singer/songwriter Paul Thomas Saunders has announced a brief tour of England for this coming November. Tickets are on sale now.

Saunders‘ debut album ‘Beautiful Desolation’, released in April on Atlantic Records, includes the track ‘In High Heels Burn It Down’, which you can preview below the tour date listing.

Wednesday 19th November 2014 – Brighton Green Door Store
Thursday 20th November 2014 – London Oslo
Saturday 22nd November 2014 – Leeds High and Lonesome Festival

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMVHlOX9DrA[/youtube]

 

Paul Thomas Saunders / Sivu – August 2014 Scottish Tour

 
By on Monday, 14th July 2014 at 9:00 am
 

Sometimes living in Scotland pays off big time. This is true of an upcoming Highlands tour next month coheadlined by singer/songwriters Paul Thomas Saunders and Sivu (pictured at top), which will begin Inverness on the 13th of August. Tickets are on sale now.

Watch Saunders’ promo video for ‘Appointment in Samarra’ after the tour dates; it appears on his debut album ‘Beautiful Desolation’ released earlier this year on Atlantic Records. To watch the video for Sivu’s next single ‘Miracle (Human Error)’ and read my review of it, go here; he’ll be touring the UK himself in October.

Wednesday 13th August 2014 – Inverness Ironworks
Thursday 14th August 2014 – Ullapool Ceilidh Place
Friday 15th August 2014 – Stornoway Isle Of Lewis Woodlands Centre
Saturday 16th August 2014 – Aviemore Old Bridge Inn

 

Video of the Moment #1401: Paul Thomas Saunders

 
By on Monday, 2nd December 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

Piano-playing singer/songwriter Paul Thomas Saunders has a new video for ‘Good Women’, a new single out on the 14th of January 2014. The song will appear on Saunders’ upcoming album ‘Beautiful Desolation’, scheduled to be released in spring 2014; the LP will mark his major label debut release. Soulful and intimate, the promo video does its song proud. Watch the video below.

Read Martin’s review of Saunders’ appearance at a Communion night in London in October here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4l9ph-hSOs[/youtube]

 

Live Review: Communion band showcase featuring The Travelling Band, Paul Thomas Saunders, John J. Presley and The Trouble with Templeton at London Notting Hill Arts Club – 6th October 2013

 
By on Thursday, 17th October 2013 at 2:00 pm
 

TGTF last visited the Communion Club Night in March, and we were suitably impressed by the quality of the acts on offer that a return visit was always on the cards. After a summer break, they relaunched back in September with an admirable six-acts-per-night policy in the sweltering underground den of the Notting Hill Arts Club, a venue with a security policy so tight and beers so expensive the whole experience is like living in Philip K. Dick’s subconscious. Nevertheless, once inside the vibe is friendly and buzzing, a great place to check out next year’s superstars.

The Trouble With Templeton, who editor Mary caught last year in Sydney, are an Australian five-piece whose sound ranges from slight acoustic whimsy to a brand of yearning AOR which, whilst perhaps not the most original sound in the rock playbook (Starsailor were doing exactly this over a decade ago, with a singer that sounded exactly the same, too boot), nevertheless provide enough variety in the songwriting and delivery to hold the interest throughout. ‘Six Months In A Cast’ gets the full driving-rock treatment, with piano riffs, washes of chugging guitar, and Thomas Calder’s impeccable, keening vocals to go with his impeccable, gleaming hair. ‘I Wrote A Novel’ is pleasant enough with its vocal percussion and clever lyrics; better still is the set-climaxing ‘Lint’, which builds with an abstract intensity and a less formal structure than the previous songs – perhaps a hint of future direction.

Apparently having won all sorts of awards for his songwriting, there’s no doubt that Calder’s pen is easily capable of jotting a memorable ditty or two, although on an absolute scale his output may be a little on the safe side, perhaps lacking that killer blow to stand out amongst the crowd now Templeton are making a bid for the big time. After the gig, drummer Ritchie explains that his band’s recent European jaunt was funded by the largesse of the recently-ousted Labor government (whilst bemoaning the anticipated lack of subsidy available from the new Liberal administration) – so I am obliged to thank the Australian taxpayers who subsidised my experience of The Trouble With Templeton, and can only hope they had nothing better to do with their money, like feeding their children. But such grumpiness aside, Templeton do deserve a wider audience; with their fresh faces and well-crafted tunes they could easily become very big indeed.

John J. Presley is a man dominated by hair – it’s pretty difficult to see his face, what with long blond locks swinging around as he prowls the stage, and the obligatory beard filling in what’s left. There’s no such difficulty at hearing him, though – the man has a veritable bellow of a voice, from which vowels aren’t really sung, more grudgingly allowed to escape, writhing in gruff protest. His is a ramshackle blues, heavily-fuzzed guitar issuing forth caveman riffs, occasionally accompanied by the sumptuous tones of a vintage Rhodes piano, or a touch of droning aerophone. ‘Sweet Sister’ exemplifies his one-man genre – guitar alternating between shades of brown overdrive and Hendrix-style fuzz, a background chorus of female vocals for company, the whole dirty and threatening like a snake in a basement.

Paul Thomas Saunders is the very spit of Sean Lennon, and the comparisons don’t stop at aesthetics – their voices are surprisingly similar, too. But where the younger Lennon’s career has been characterised by a bare smattering of LPs over the last fifteen years, Saunders appears much more focused with his releases, and indeed the records themselves hang together admirably. 2012’s ‘Descartes Highlands’ is a beautiful collection of heartfelt, spaced-out acoustic-electronic rock, dreamy in its presentation and knowingly literate in its content. The song titles belie an obscurantist influence – references to ‘Santa Muerte’ (the cult saint of death) alongside something like ‘A Lunar Veteran’s Guide To Re-Entry’ indicate a lot of thought and perhaps even a dollop of pretension are contained within. Live, Saunders plays guitar and keyboards expertly, the band spin a delicate web around his fragile, effected tenor; the overall result is a quite lovely update to the sort of space-age rock that Spiritualized first enamoured the public with over 20 years ago.

Ending the night with The Travelling Band is like finishing a sumptuous five-course meal with a piece of dry, mouldy cheddar one finds at the back of the fridge. TTB won the 2008 Glastonbury New Talent award – yet further evidence of the adverse effects of a Glasto-centric music scene. Style-wise, it’s plastic-folk, Jim, and exactly as we know it from the countless bearded hopefuls to the Mumford-ian throne that pop up every week with their wide-eyed honesty, carefully-practised five-part harmonies and clean underwear. The band can’t decide who their frontman is, as Jo Dudderidge and Adam Gorman vie for both the centre mic and the audience’s affections, all faux sincerity and gaping gurns. The quiet-loud-quiet-loud-ad-nauseum arrangements are depressingly predictable, as is the constant thud of a bass drum – a dance music substitute for those who find dance music too scary.

This is music every bit as reductive as the mainstream chart dross that music snobs constantly rail against – it performs exactly the same function as the latest offering from some famous-for-five-minutes auto-tuned chart diva, except its audience is middle class and post-teenage; and instead of hotpants and cleavage, we have carefully-quoiffed quiffs, neatly-trimmed beards and checked shirts. The lack of offensive potential, the cynically manipulative ear-pleasing yet bland songs, the emphasis of delivery over content, and the whole suffocating smugness of the whole affair is utterly depressing. Listen to this, from ‘Sundial’: “If I had a home to call my own / then I wouldn’t need a sundial to stop me roaming around”. Give me strength, or better still, something scabrous and cynical – perhaps a PiL album, or a painting by Hieronymus Bosch – anything to clear away the fug of cloying sentimentality. Time will tell how long The Travelling Band can be bothered with the travelling part – 5 years since their breakthrough, little has been achieved by the way of mainstream success, and if the half-empty venue as they take the stage is anything to go by, their star is waning still.

The Communion Club night also plays in Brighton, Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow, so for anyone wanting to make their own mind up about the bands discussed here, or discover the next big thing in new music, it’s a monthly event not to be missed.

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

RSS Feed   RSS Feed  

Learn More About Us

Privacy Policy

Keep TGTF online for years to come!
Donate here.